A kaftan or caftan is a variant of the robe, which has been worn by several cultures around the world for thousands of years.

The kaftan is often worn as a coat or overdress, usually reaching to the ankles, with long sleeves. It can be made of wool, silk or cotton and may be worn with a sash. The caftan is of ancient Mesopotamian origin, and was worn by many middle-eastern ethnic groups.
Through its evolution, the kaftan has acquired different styles, purposes, and names depending on the culture. In many regions with a warm climate, the kaftan is worn as a light-weight, loose-fitting garment.

Kaftan has served as a symbol of royalty in some cultures and as a symbol of marriage in others during some parts of history.
A traditional Kashmiri kurta is a rectangular fabric with decorative embroidery. The sleeves of a traditional kurta fall straight to the wrist; they do not narrow, as do many Western-cut sleeves.

The front and back pieces of a simple kurta are also rectangular. The side seams are left open for 6-12 inches above the hem, which gives the wearer some ease of movement.
The traditional straight cut kurta does not have a collar but modern versions do. The use of side slits in the straight cut kurta can be traced to the 11th century.